With most teams having only three games left of the season, places are starting to become set. Whilst Watford and Norwich will be relegated, the final relegation spot is yet to be determined. Everton, Burnley and Leeds are all inside one point as of writing. Today we will look at the current situation and rank the teams and see who is most likely to be relegated.

 

Current situation


Source: fbref.com

Everton is in the leading position, with them having one more game left compared to Burnley and Leeds. In case of a tied points situation, we look at goal difference and Leeds is by far the worst in that and I don’t see any chance how they climb from there.

Everton have the easiest schedule of the teams. They have a game in hand, and also get to play Watford, who got relegated after their loss at Crystal Palace last Saturday. They will also play Brentford and Crystal Palace before finishing the season at Arsenal. I see them picking up four points to finish the season.

Burnley has a relatively difficult schedule, with away games against Tottenham and Aston Villa, and hosting the in-form Newcastle at home on the last day of the season. I see them picking up one point out of these three games.

Leeds have some difficult games to finish as well. They play Chelsea, Brighton, who lets remember looked like prime Barcelona against Manchester United, and finishes the season against Brentford. In my evaluations they get one point out of these games.

 

If my predictions are correct, that would leave Leeds in the relegation zone. But as anything can happen, let’s compare the teams against each other.

 

Goalkeeping

Everton: Jordan Pickford
Burnley: Nick Pope
Leeds: Illan Meslier

Two of England’s finest goalkeepers find themselves in the relegation battle. Pickford, the starter for England, hasn’t been as good as his national team teammate. Pope has the only positive number out of the three in goals against expected minus goals against (2.6, Pickford -7.9, Meslier -8.5). Pope also trumps his competition in Post-Shot Expected Goals minus Goals Allowed, where he is in the 73rd percentile of keepers in the top 5 leagues, whereas Pickford is an average keeper in the 57th percentile. Meslier is one of the worst keepers in the top 5 leagues, ranking in the 14th percentile.

Ranking:

1st: Burnley
2nd: Everton
3rd: Leeds

Defence:

Defensively we are talking about very different kinds of teams. Leeds press very aggressively, as the current manager Jesse Marsch continues with similar philosophies to Marcelo Bielsa. This is why Leeds have both won the most tackles in the league, and they have conceded the second most goals in the league. Everton is right up there in tackles. Burnley play much deeper and excel in clearances and interceptions. Both Everton and Burnley possess more defensive talent than Leeds. Leeds have some decent defenders in Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo, but in my opinion they are not as good as Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Michael Keane or Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Charlie Taylor. Burnley captain Ben Mee has been injured and on the sideline as a coach and would have made that defence even better. I give the edge to Everton here due to their more aggressive pressing and because they have given up less expected goals per game.

Ranking

1st: Everton
2nd: Burnley
3rd: Leeds

Midfield

All teams have some talented midfielders. Leeds are led by England international Kalvin Phillips, Everton has on loan former wonderkids Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek, and Burnley has young Dwight McNeil, who has huge potential. I think the depth will be key here. Everton has so much depth in their midfield. Behind Alli and van de Beek they have players like Fabian Delph and Abdoulaye Doucouré who are good rotation guys in the Premier League. Burnley’s midfield is old and experienced with guys like Aaron Lennon and Jack Cork. Leeds have players like Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich contributing on their midfield. I give the edge to Everton. Kalvin Phillips and having the most expected goals edges Leeds over Burnley.

Ranking

1st: Everton
2nd: Leeds
3rd: Burnley

Attack

All teams have very talented strikers. All have also had misfortunes in their attack. Everton and Leeds have had their main strikers, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Patrick Bamford respectively, injured for most of the season. Burnley sold their striker Chris Wood in January and replaced him with Woug Weghorst. Richalison has been good for Everton, and Raphinha has done his best to replace Bamford’s goalscoring. Weghorst is a threat in the air and has been better in build-up than Wood, but isn’t as prolific as his rivals. This is very close, but I will give it to Leeds.

Ranking

1st: Leeds
2nd: Everton
3rd: Burnley

Coaching

I won’t be ranking this one: I feel like it’s impossible. None of the managers have been in a situation like this. Frank Lampard coached a team much higher, but doesn’t have any experience of surviving a relegation battle in the Premier League. Burnley have an inexperienced duo of Michael Jackson (no, not the singer) and captain Ben Mee in charge. Jackson has coached in lower divisions of England and has never been a full-time manager. Leeds have an inexperienced Jesse Marsch, who is coaching in England for the first time and who had a tough time at Leipzig.

 

 

All of these teams have talented players in their squads, but one of them has to be relegated. And if I’m correct, there won’t be an American manager in the Premier League next season.

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